Hindustan Syringes & Medical Devices is ramping up production of auto-disable syringes to 1 billion a year, in order to meet the massive demand for the COVID-19 vaccine.
The company will raise production of auto-disable syringes to an annual capacity of 1 billion in the first half of 2021 from the existing 700 million, according to a Mint report.
The company, which currently has 50 million syringes in stock, is preparing a stockpile of around 140 million by the end of 2020, the report said.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the story.
"We have received orders from UNICEF to increase our supply of immunisation AD syringes to the organisation to around 300 million," Hindustan Syringes managing director Rajiv Nath said, as quoted by Mint.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
The company can be ready with 100 million of these syringes for COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2020 if the government places a request.
"We are waiting on the Indian government to start creating a stockpile of syringes as being done by other countries," Nath said.
India, a country of over 1.3 billion people, has so far recorded over 33.8 lakh (3.38 million) cases of the novel coronavirus.